Sunday, 19 January 2014

Challenge Tyres: sealing side walls Seamgrip v. Copydex

These Challenge Grifo are beautiful clinchers. Note that Challenge call them Open Tubulars meaning they're made like their tubulars before fitting a clincher style bead. Extremely high TPI, so very supple. Since they're made of cotton, it is advisable to seal the tyre walls. I've done an experiment here, top one is sealed in Pritt Copydex (latex base solvent free glue). It had nil effect to the feel of the tyre. 
The one below is sealed with McNett Seamgrip, a tent and camping equipment sealant. Of the two, I found that Copydex is much less messy to apply, but no where near as robust as the Seamgrip. In the photo above, you can see the edges peeling. However, after a number of cross races, the Copydex had not come off. So, it's worth doing, even though the Seamgrip is better. The Seamgripped carcass was perhaps a tad less flexible, but the main drawback was it's gloopy consistency and difficulty in application. Ideally, if the Seamgrip could be diluted down a bit before application it may be easier, but I fear that can only be done with pretty nasty benzene based solvents. If anyone knows of a harmless solvent for Seamgrip, please do comment below!

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